Tips for the storage and handling dangerous goods
Posted: Mar 16, 2020
Substances or objects are considered hazardous if they are capable of presenting a threat or danger to property, people or the surrounding area. This includes items that may be explosive, flammable, corrosive or toxic; these goods need to be kept in dangerous goods storage areas for safety. Extreme caution and proper control must be used for dangerous goods storage and handling to avoid accidents while handling these goods.
All people using or handling dangerous goods and those involved need to be trained in the correct procedures and safety measures to be taken.
In all places where any dangerous goods are used or stored a proper assessment of the risks involved needs to be undertaken, including the possibility of any environmental damage that could be caused by spills or leaks.
The following are tips for the storage and handling dangerous goods:
- Always store chemicals in accordance with the supplier or manufacturer’s instructions that can be found on the packaging or accompanying safety data sheet
- Be compliant with all workplace and safety requirements and regulations
- If possible, purchase only the amount of chemicals needed to avoid the need to store them. It’s better to order fresh supplies as needed rather than stockpile dangerous goods
- Store any substances that are incompatible or could react together in separate areas
- If repackaging dangerous substance ensure they are placed in suitable containers and labeled correctly in accordance with the industry standards such as colour coding and safety symbols
- Take the proper steps to prevent the possibility of the leaking or releasing of any dangerous substances
- Maintain a secondary containment system of overflow or drip trays to capture any dangerous substances in the event of a container failure or build your storage areas in such a way they prevent liquids from escaping
- Avoid overfilling your containers and do not stack them on top of each other unless in containers designed for this purpose
- Store dangerous liquids above ground in approved earthquake proof containers where they are unlikely to be accidentally damaged
- Provide adequate ventilation and apparatus designed for the extraction of toxic fumes if necessary
- Have a spill kit on hand that’s designed to cope with all the types and amounts of dangerous goods you have in storage and ensure all staff are trained in its correct use
- Ensure all people who use dangerous goods or have access to dangerous goods storage areas are provided with adequate safety equipment such as
- Suitable safety glasses
- Suitable gloves
- Suitable footwear such as rubber boots
- Overalls or protective clothing
- Respirators or face masks or other breathing equipment
- Have proper training and procedures for dealing with emergencies such as leakages or fire as well as natural disasters including cyclones and tropical storms
- Have an evacuation plan and practice drills regularly
- Ensure all deliveries of dangerous goods are properly supervised
- Promptly clean up any spills or leaks of dangerous goods than may occur
When you use or have dangerous goods storage areas, it’s vital that you follow the supplier’s or manufacturer’s instructions as to the required storage and safety measures required. Try and purchase only the required amount of dangerous goods needed to avoid the need to store them. Always supply the required safety equipment and training to personnel.
Wssa is a Dangerous Goods Storage Specialists based in Queensland, Australia.